Your real estate reputation is and will be one of your most valuable possessions. Therefore, it is worth building and protecting.
You actually have two reputations: one with past clients and one with people who are a part of the real estate business. That would include other agents, assistants, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, stagers, photographers, title officers, etc. In short, everyone associated with facilitating the transfer of real estate ownership.
Your real estate reputation with past clients may bring you new business.
If you did a wonderful job – and if you remember to stay in touch with them – your past clients will refer others to you. They’ll also come back to you when or if they want to buy or sell again.
Owning a business that grows almost entirely from referrals is a state that many aspire to and many have achieved. What some don’t realize is that most who have achieved that status have also maintained an excellent real estate reputation within the industry.
Your real estate reputation within the industry is vital to your success.
Why? Because all of those people can either cooperate and make things easier for you – or not.
When it comes to other agents, they can be eager to show your listings – or they can put them at the bottom of the list to show when all other options have been exhausted. When you present an offer on a home that has multiple offers, they can encourage the sellers to consider it first – or put it at the bottom of the stack.
As for all of the other people involved – they can make serving you a priority – or not.
How can you build a good real estate reputation within the industry?
The answer boils down to three things:
- Be professional
- Be polite
- Be considerate
Being professional could also include the other two, but for starters…
Being professional means doing your work correctly. A professional real estate agent fills out every form clearly, completely, and correctly. There are no blanks left unfilled or questions left unanswered. If any of it is hand-written, it’s legible.
A professional is also careful to meet deadlines and to do his/her share of the work.
A professional treats others with dignity and respect, which bring us to the other two requirements for a good real estate reputation: being polite and considerate.
Judging from what I’m reading, some are using the current seller’s market as an excuse to abandon civility. They are not polite, nor are they considerate. Perhaps they can get away with it in an insane real estate market.
The thing to remember, however, is that this market will not last.
The pendulum swings. It always has and it always will. If you’re new to real estate, ask any agent who has been around for 20 years.
And people do have long memories. The reputation you build today is the reputation you’ll carry tomorrow. If you want consideration from other agents and cooperation from everyone else involved, being professional, polite, and considerate today will serve you well tomorrow.
Right now you may feel that you are “too busy” to be considerate of others in the industry. Make the time. And if you absolutely cannot do it all yourself, hire some help.
How to be polite and considerate if you’re a buyer’s agent:
- Make appointments as far in advance as possible.
- Read the MLS listing and remarks before calling the listing agent for information that you could have found there.
- Be on time for those appointments; call if you must be late; and if you need to cancel, do it as soon as you have that information.
- Treat homes and homeowners with respect. Don’t allow potential buyers to do things you wouldn’t want done in your own home.
- Be sure to leave lights and door locks as you found them.
- If you’re submitting an offer electronically, call to let the agent know it is on the way.
- Give adequate time for a reply.
- Acknowledge receipt of counter-offers. Reply within the deadline.
If you’re a listing agent:
- Post good photos – ones that honestly depict the property.
- Answer showing requests promptly.
- Return phone calls, text messages, and emails promptly and politely.
- Acknowledge receipt of offers.
- Present offers to your sellers in a timely fashion.
- Respond to every offer – even if it’s been rejected outright.
- Refrain from insulting buyer agents who submit low offers. Remember that they are doing what their clients direct them to do. They don’t enjoy wasting their time any more than you do.
- Send complete and legible counter-offers.
- Respect deadlines.
Whether you represent the buyer or the seller:
When you’re dealing with others involved in your transaction, speak to everyone with respect. Make polite requests, not demands.
Try to be patient when service providers are slow. I know you’ll notice which lenders, appraisers, inspectors, etc. are doing their best to serve you, so remember to say thanks. Then remember them when things change and you make decisions about which to use in slower times – and which to recommend to others.
Resist the urge to rant about fellow agents, lenders, appraisers, etc. on social media. If you must blow off steam, tell it to your significant other, your parent, your child, or perhaps your best friend. Stay cool in public.
It follows that you should resist the urge to be snarky, snippy, or generally nasty to other agents or any of the other people involved. I know – there are times when it would feel good to blow up. But don’t.
Make “please” and “thank you” part of your every day vocabulary.
Back when I was a broker and handled bank-owned properties, I often needed the services of our local telephone company repair man. When I called, he always got back to me quickly. I appreciated that, and I told him so.
One day when he came to my own home to make a repair on our antiquated phone line, he told me that he came here first, even though he’d been “summoned” to a house up at the lake. He told me that when those people called, he always put them at the bottom of the list, simply because they demanded instant service instead of asking politely.
It may be an old saw, but it really is true that “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
“We must always try to be polite to the other person even if they have upset us. Politeness is the grease that keeps the gears of all relationships turning.”
― Zachariah Renfro
“A little consideration makes all the difference.”
This extreme seller’s market will end, but your real estate reputation will be with you forever…
Handle it with care.
Meeting new client Image courtesy of Flare at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Best practice courtesy of stuart miles at Freedigitalphotos.net
Tom Braatz says
So true. I am guilty of this. The one place it should always begin, in my eyes, is with a professional image .
I think so too, Tom. And I believe you cannot project a professional image unless you are also poite and considerate.
Thanks for taking time to comment!